About 30 West Los Angeles-area residents with limited health insurance will receive much needed surgeries and medical procedures at no cost to them through Community Access Day, a collaborative effort between Kaiser Permanente West Los Angeles
and Venice Family Clinic. Procedures include gallbladder and hernia repair, eye surgery, as well as diagnostic colonoscopies, and will be performed on Saturday, May 14, starting at 7:30 a.m. at the Kaiser Permanente West Los Angeles Medical Center.
The program has operated at the West Los Angeles Medical Center for eight years, benefitting patients like Culver City resident Maria Olivares, 38, who will undergo hernia repair surgery at the upcoming Community Access Day.
Olivares cleans houses for a living and has struggled with hernia pain for five years – making simple tasks such as lifting an object or bending over very difficult. Her husband was unable to work after suffering a work-related back injury and Olivares struggled to pay the bills. She simply didn’t have the resources for a hernia surgery, and says she learned to live with the pain. Soon she won’t have to live with the pain anymore.
“I feel really great,” Olivares said about her upcoming surgery. “Good health is the most important thing. I’m a little nervous but so very grateful that I am getting this help.”
Even with the Affordable Care Act, many care providers struggle to provide and coordinate specialty care to meet increasingly complex patient needs.
“Many of these patients have been dealing with the pain or discomfort associated with their conditions for many years and simply don’t have the money to pay for these crucial procedures,” says Clare Thomas, DO, an anesthesiologist at Kaiser Permanente West Los Angeles and chair of the Community Access Day program. “There are still many in our community who still do not have health care so this program remains an important service provided by Kaiser Permanente. We are proud to support such a program that has the ability to completely change their lives.”
Kaiser Permanente works to strengthen the connection between where people get care and the communities in which they live. Creating healthy communities is central to our mission and critical to individual health and wellness. In Southern California alone, we’ve invested more than $634 million to help make this happen. At the Kaiser Permanente West Los Angeles Medical Center, contributions to various Community Benefit Programs totaled $39,972,386 in 2015, and this great level of work continues into 2016.